Festival of Voice returns to Cardiff 

Following an amazing first outing in the Welsh capital, Festival of Voice has announced the first performers to feature in its second instalment. The biennial celebration of music and arts returns 7–17 June 2018, with shows from legendary artists like Patti Smith, Billy Bragg and Wales’ own Gruff Rhys.

Taking place at multiple venues across Cardiff, the festival transforms the city with a buzzing mix of one-off events, unique collaborations, community participation projects. Featuring both local and international voices, it’s a powerful, diverse and endlessly fascinating feast of music and the arts.

The initial wave of artist announcements should be enough to get pulses racing. Opening the first night of the festival on 7 June is a special Voices of Protest Evening featuring Nadine Shah and Billy Bragg. There’s also a world-first performance on 10 June, as sometime Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Wales Millennium Centre.

The mighty Patti Smith appears at beautiful St John’s Church in Canton 11 June for an intimate Words and Music event, before turning the volume up the following night at the Wales Millennium Centre for An Evening with Patti Smith (aided by long-term collaborators Lenny Kaye and Tony Shanahan).

Other acts confirmed so far include American singer-songwriter Laura Veirs (9 June) at St John’s Church, Canton, performing songs from her newly released tenth album, The Lookout. There’s also Edinburgh’s Karine Polwart performing Wind Resistance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama 15 – 17 June, a spellbinding alchemy of story and song, and The Tiger Lillies: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (15 – 16 June). This multi-arts experience sees the cult British trio perform a live soundtrack for the Ballad, one continuous piece of music that evolves and underscores the beauty, pain, joy, tragedy and sorrow of relationships, alongside startling images by Nan Goldin.

But this is only the start.
“This first announcement is just a snippet of what’s to come, says executive creative producer Sara Dennehy. “We’re stoked that Patti Smith will be joining us with her words and music in a small intimate show. I hope the festival brings a burst of energy that will help raise the profile of Cardiff as an international arts and music city.”
The full lineup will be revealed on 6 March, adding more inspiring names to an already stellar bill. And the festival isn’t just about the headliners. With free events and opportunities for participation and volunteering, this a festival for everyone can get involved with. 

One such event is PROCESSIONS, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a mass participation artwork to celebrate one hundred years of votes for women. In collaboration with public art specialists Artichoke, women and girls can register now at processions.co.uk to take part in the procession through the streets of Cardiff, creating a living portrait of women in the 21st century.

It’s just one event in what promise to be an unmissable celebration of music and art, all taking place in Cardiff, the UK’s first official Music City. To see the full lineup and book tickets, visit the Festival of Voice website.